If you’re regularly experiencing problems with your ears this can be painful and disruptive to everyday life. From regular ear infections to issues that have arisen after you have been hurt in some way, getting help when you have problems with your ears could be essential to ensure that your hearing, and quality of life, are not disrupted. These are some of the most common problems to look out for.
Traumatic ear injuries
While an ear injury could be a blow to the head or something similar, it could also easily be caused by diving into water, body surfing or even swimming. Although water is not solid, if you land in it at high speed - or at the wrong angle - the water can act to ‘slap’ the ear, which creates a wave of pressure against the eardrum that can damage it. If you experience something like this and, after 24 hours, you’re still having problems with your hearing, or with pain and discharge from the ear, then it’s important to seek help.
If you’re a regular in the water then this could be a common occurrence for you. Swimmer’s ear happens when water remains in your ear canal for too long, creating the perfect conditions for bacteria and germs to infect the delicate skin of the ear. It is caused by the germs that are regularly found in water, such as swimming pools. The first sign of swimmer’s ear is usually feeling like your ears are full of water, followed by a sensation of itching and pain. Seeking medical help is key to avoid a more serious infection.
Impacted ear wax
Ear wax occurs naturally in the ears and plays an essential function when it comes to cleaning, lubricating, and protecting the ears. It’s also antibacterial and essentially acts as a self-cleaning substance for our ears. So, earwax is vital to the healthy functioning of the ears. Problems can arise where there is an excessive amount of normally occurring ear wax - this can block the external ear canal and cause impaction. One of the most common causes of problems with ear wax is using something like cotton buds to ‘clean’ earwax from your ears. These can actually act to push the earwax into the parts of the ear where it should not be and cause many other problems, such as impaction. There are certain situations where ear wax needs to be removed but this should be done on professional advice.
Middle ear infection
An infection of the middle ear can be incredibly painful and may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as a fever and a headache. Depending on the type of ear infection, antibiotics may not be the appropriate choice of treatment and other options may be necessary, such as myringotomy (ear tubes), if the infections are ongoing.
When it comes to our ears these are some of the most common problems that could affect this sensitive part of the body on a regular basis.
Harley Street is the UK's foremost private medical centre which is dedicated to providing high-quality care for your ear, nose, throat, head & neck, and balance-related disorders. Find out more information on how Harley Street ENT can help you here.